I have a spreadsheet with many columns. The columns are all a small standard width. Double-clicking the partition line between columns will expand the column width to encompass the longest string in that column.

Is there a shortcut to perform this operation on every column in the spreadsheet?

  • 1
    Just a comment: "howto" as one word usually means "this is a guide" not "how do I".
    – msanford
    Jul 8, 2010 at 22:08

6 Answers 6


Click where the row and column headers meet, this will select the entire sheet, like so:

alt text

Then double-click any one of the column partition lines.

I do this all the time, and it's as quick as you can get.

  • Cool trick You rock!
    – user1224499
    Feb 19, 2021 at 18:08
  • excel black magic 101 lol... Mar 3, 2021 at 16:19

I don't know about shortcut. I use menu.
1) Select The Full Spreadsheet
2) Select Format
3) Column
4) Autofit Selection

  • 1
    +1 I like this solution because it works on whatever range you select and you can exclude, for instance, titles that you want to span many columns.
    – dkusleika
    Jul 8, 2010 at 17:02
  • Sometimes for long strings the autofit does not expand to fit the longest line in that column. navigating this tip brought me to the other options of manually setting the width which was useful.
    – Paul
    Aug 12, 2014 at 14:51
  • And for particularly long strings there are times when Excel just fails. Although, I haven't run into this yet with the newer versions.
    – Dave
    Aug 13, 2014 at 17:11
  • Could you update this for 2010 please? Or at least specify the version you are explaining this for.
    – LaRiFaRi
    Jul 8, 2015 at 7:40
  • At the time of this post I believe I was using a 2000 version of office at home and 2003 at work.
    – Dave
    Jul 10, 2015 at 1:43

Ctrl+A to select all cells, then press Alt+H, O, I.

  • Is that working in all excel versions? Feb 19, 2015 at 8:30
  • 1
    @boboes works for 2010
    – LaRiFaRi
    Jul 8, 2015 at 7:42

Try selecting everything (CTRL + A twice rapidly, or just select the columns you want), and then double-click a partition line. In Excel 2007, that solution seems to work just fine; in other words, it automatically sizes each column to its own longest string.

  • doesn't work in 2003
    – Dave
    Jul 8, 2010 at 16:18
  • 3
    It does work in 2003. In both versions, you have to make sure the whole column is selected, not just a range of cells.
    – dkusleika
    Jul 8, 2010 at 17:01
  • Why CTRL+a twice? Was that really needed in some version of Excel?
    – LaRiFaRi
    Jul 8, 2015 at 7:46
  • @LaRiFaRi: For example in Excel 2013, pressing Ctrl+A once selects the current block of cells, which have contents in them -- equivalent to Ctrl+Shift+Space. The following second Ctrl+A selects the entire sheet.
    – Lernkurve
    Nov 10, 2016 at 12:52

enter image description herein Excel 2016 you can select all with Ctrl + A then on Home tab look for Format menu. Click and select Autofit Column Width


Select All - "Control" A

Expand all column width and heights "Alt" H-O-I

  • 1
    there are no dashes when you expand column width and heights- "Alt" HOI
    – Will
    Jul 8, 2020 at 19:19

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